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Sermons

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For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

November 2022


November 20, 2020  "Who Is This Jesus?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 13, 2022  "Steady Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2022


October 30, 2022  "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 3: Relationship Redeemers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 23, 2022 "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 2: Generous Givers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 16, 2022   "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 1: Covenant Connectors" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2, 2022,  "Keeping the Flame Burning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2022


September 18, 2022,  "Mammon, Part I:  The Way of Righteousness" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2022


August 28, 2022   "Why Do We Sing?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 7, 2022 "The Essence of Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2022


July 24, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 4: The Judge Who Shows Mercy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 17, 2022  "God's Goodness, Part 3: The Covenant Partner Who Blesses" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 10, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 2: The Law-giver Who Prospers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2022


June 19, 2022 "Words from the Wise: Gamaliel" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 12, 2022 "The Trinity: The Holy Spirit" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 5, 2022  "The Day the Universe Changed" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

May 2022


May 29, 2022  "Easter Discipleship, Part 5: Waiting with Joy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 22, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 4: Trust in My Healing Grace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 15, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 3: Love One Another (as I Have Loved You)" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 8, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 2: Follow My Voice" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 1, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 1: Feed My Sheep" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2022


April 17, 2022 "New Life, or an Idle Tale?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 10, 2022 "The Deeper Meaning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

March 2022


March 13, 2022  "Images of Jesus- Part II: Friend of the Cross" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

February 2022


February 13, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part III: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2022


January 30, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part I:  Acts of Love" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2, 2022  "Jesus Draws a Crowd" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2021


December 19, 2021 "Advent Anticipation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 5, 2021 "Advent 2: Wilderness Preparation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 2021


November 14, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 2: Resurrection" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 7, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 1: Return" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2021


October 31, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 5: Steward God's Gifts" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 24, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 4: Nurture Relationships" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 17, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 3: Share Hospitality by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 10, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 2: Show Compassion" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 3, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 1: Glorify God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 2021


September 19, 2021  "Gentle Wisdom, or Worldly Ways?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 12, 2021  "Prophetic Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 5, 2021  "A Vision of Our Future" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 2021


August 15, 2021  "Wise Living" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2021


July 4, 2021  "Humility Over Hubris" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2021


June 27, 2021  "Faith Over Fear" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2021


May 30, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 3: :Life and Peace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 23, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 2: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 16, 2021  "The Spirit, Part I: Wisdom and Revelation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 9, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 4: Love and Christ" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 3: Love and God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

October 2, 2022

“Keeping the Flame Burning” by the Rev. Don Wahlig, October 2, 2022  -  Year C / 18th Sunday of Pentecost [World Communion Sunday] – Lamentations 1:1-6 and Lamentations 3:19-26 or Psalm 137  •  Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 and Psalm 37:1-9  •  2 Timothy 1:1-14  •  Luke 17:5-10

THEME:  Like Timothy, we are inspired in our faith and encouraged in our discipleship by our faith family and our partners in ministry, especially the Presbyterian Church of Newcastle, South Africa.

 

Who is your image of a mature Christian?  Think about that for a moment.  Can you picture that person in your mind?

And now compare it to the picture that Paul gives us in his letter to Timothy.  In describing Timothy, Paul is showing us what a mature Christian looks like.  It starts with faith.

The foundation of Timothy’s faith came first from his grandmother Lois.  It continued with his mother Eunice.  They in turn taught the faith to Timothy. 

So, when Paul arrived at Timothy’s house, what he saw was a family legacy of faithfulness:  a spirit of power, love and self-discipline that ran through the generations of Timothy’s family.

That’s why Paul, through the laying on of hands, ordained Timothy to be his co-worker in the gospel.  They became a team.  Paul was the mentor and coach, Timothy was his pupil and his partner.  Together, they supported one another through all manner of hardship and persecution in order to share the gospel throughout the Eastern Mediterranean world.

But now Paul is nearing the end of his ministry and quite possibly the end of his life.  He writes this letter from jail.  That explains why his message has a definite sense of urgency.  Paul is asking Timothy to carry on his ministry when Paul is gone. 

But they both know it won’t be easy, not by a long shot.  Timothy can expect resistance, antagonism and even violent persecution from those who oppose the gospel.  These opponents love anything and everything except God.  They cannot fully trust that God sent his son to give them new life.  They think true life comes from earthly things like power and money.

To be a witness for Christ in the face of that kind of opposition, Timothy is going to have to have courage, persistence, and – above all – the conviction of his faith.

Friends, the same is true for you and me.  We, too, live in a world where many people regard the gospel as irrelevant, unimportant, and even a hindrance to living a good life, a pleasing and prosperous life. 

Like Timothy, if you and I are going to be faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, we too need courage, persistence, and the conviction of our faith.  Which begs the question:  where do we get that?  What - or who - nurtures our faith and strengthens our discipleship?

That is the question I have been wondering about this week.  As I considered Paul’s letter and what we are celebrating on this World Communion Sunday, the answer has become clear.  Our faith and our discipleship are strengthened the same way they were for Timothy:  through our faith family and our partners in discipleship.

This congregation is our faith family.  You and I help one another understand the truth, the depth, and the power of God’s love embodied in Jesus Christ.  Together we work out what it means to be his faithful follower.  Like Timothy, we have accepted our ordination to become ministers of his gospel in this world.

Does that surprise you?  Do you think of yourself as ordained?  I bet you don’t.  You probably think ordination is only for people like Lisa and me, who go to seminary and wear funny black robes and a dog collar on Sundays.  But I assure you, you are ordained to ministry every bit as much as Lisa and I are.

You were ordained to ministry in your baptism.  On that day, you received the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit has led you into this community of faith. 

Here, you are surrounded by a faith family who promises to nurture you in the faith.  And so, day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year, we are being formed into more mature Christians who minister in Christ’s name.

We support one another in sharing the gospel in our daily living.  We inspire one another when we get discouraged.  We strengthen one another when we get tired.  That is what a faith family does.  Together we are living into our vision of becoming a more grace-filled family of faith sharing Christ’s love with all.

But there is even more support than we know.  Our faith family is far wider than we may realize.  That is especially true for Presbyterians. 

We are linked to other Presbyterians near and far through our Presbytery, our Synod, and the national Presbyterian Church USA.  That is the beauty of our connectional system.  It is one of the great strengths of our denomination.

Together, we are better, more faithful witnesses to Christ’s love than we could ever be by ourselves.  That’s why Mark McGaffin stood up last Sunday and encouraged us all to make that $29 per person donation.  It is the recognition and celebration that we are stronger together than we are alone.

But let’s not stop there!  Our faith family is even bigger than that.  Our faith family is global.  That’s what we celebrate on this World Communion Sunday.  We are in communion with all our Christian brothers and sisters around the world.

We here at Silver Spring Presbyterian Church are especially blessed because 30 years ago, some of our most faithful members recognized God’s call to partner in ministry with the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Newcastle, South Africa. 

For those who can remember, think back with me to those tumultuous days in the 1990s in South Africa.  The racially segregated system of Apartheid had just been dismantled.  Nelson Mandela, released from prison just a few years before, was on the verge of becoming South Africa’s first black President.

While these were hopeful events in the eyes of black South Africans, it was only the beginning of the long road to recovery of their basic God-given, human rights, a journey that continues to this very day.  

In the midst of all those momentous changes, somehow – by the grace of God - a relationship developed between our congregation and the Newcastle Congregation.  Here’s how that happened.

A chance encounter during a youth retreat led to an exchange of visits between our congregations.  Both delegations were received with open arms.  When they each returned home, both had the same things to say:  their lives and their faith were forever changed.  It was proof positive of the movement of the Holy Spirit.

A covenant of partnership was soon agreed to by both congregations.  This covenant envisions that we will support and strengthen one another, pray for one another, and learn from one another.  

It identifies our mutual goal, which is (and I quote) “to build a bridge of understanding that proclaims our faith in Jesus Christ which will benefit not only our two congregations but will also be an effective witness to other congregations that together are the church.”

And that is exactly what we have done.  Together with other churches in this Presbytery, we sent a 40-foot container to South Africa with books, computers. clothing, supplies – even a piano. 

We have helped our partners create a soup kitchen providing much-needed nutrition for the community.  We have helped them with medical, vision and wellness advice, especially as they navigated the devasting HIV / AIDS crisis.

Our partners have used their gifts to help us, too.  They have strengthened our worship, worked with us on our mission trips, and they have helped to show us the true joy of fellowship. 

Simply put, we are one in faith, and one in ministry.

As you look around you, you will see pictures of our partners on the pew doors.  These pictures have been taken over the years by various travelers.  Today, we are also blessed that some of our partners are with us on the live-stream. 

Friends, this is what World Communion Sunday is all about.  We boost each other’s faith and bolster each other’s witness as Jesus’ disciples.  That is exactly what Paul asked Timothy to do. 

And it is exactly what God asks us to do.

So, I ask you a question.  What’s next?  How will our partnership with the Newcastle Presbyterian Church move forward?

I challenge all of us to re-envision how, together, we can help each other become even stronger in our faith and discipleship. 

Specifically, when will we have our next visit?  Might that be an occasion for us to spend some time discerning the future direction of our partnership?  

Is it perhaps time for a youth trip to South Africa?  Maybe with the youth from other churches in our Presbytery?  Afterall, our youth were integral to the partnership in the first place.  

Can one of our new small groups be devoted to learning about our two congregations, our ministry context, and the challenges we each face in sharing the gospel, and then identifying ways we can overcome those challenges together with God’s help?

Whatever the future holds for our partnership, the next step is prayer.  Prayer seeking discernment and God’s guidance. 

Because, wherever that leads us, rest assured.  It will be the right path – because it will be the one God chooses for us.

May it be so.  

 

Last Published: October 3, 2022 12:01 PM
Sermons

Click here to view Worship Videos.

For sermon texts, please click on the links below.

 

November 2022


November 20, 2020  "Who Is This Jesus?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 13, 2022  "Steady Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

October 2022


October 30, 2022  "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 3: Relationship Redeemers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 23, 2022 "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 2: Generous Givers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 16, 2022   "Tech, Time and Tithe, Part 1: Covenant Connectors" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2, 2022,  "Keeping the Flame Burning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

September 2022


September 18, 2022,  "Mammon, Part I:  The Way of Righteousness" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

August 2022


August 28, 2022   "Why Do We Sing?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 7, 2022 "The Essence of Faith" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2022


July 24, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 4: The Judge Who Shows Mercy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 17, 2022  "God's Goodness, Part 3: The Covenant Partner Who Blesses" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 10, 2022 "God's Goodness, Part 2: The Law-giver Who Prospers" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2022


June 19, 2022 "Words from the Wise: Gamaliel" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 12, 2022 "The Trinity: The Holy Spirit" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

June 5, 2022  "The Day the Universe Changed" by the Rev. Lisa Strong Chase

May 2022


May 29, 2022  "Easter Discipleship, Part 5: Waiting with Joy" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 22, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 4: Trust in My Healing Grace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 15, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 3: Love One Another (as I Have Loved You)" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 8, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 2: Follow My Voice" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 1, 2022 "Easter Discipleship, Part 1: Feed My Sheep" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 2022


April 17, 2022 "New Life, or an Idle Tale?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

April 10, 2022 "The Deeper Meaning" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

March 2022


March 13, 2022  "Images of Jesus- Part II: Friend of the Cross" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

February 2022


February 13, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part III: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2022


January 30, 2022  "Love, Faith, Hope - Part I:  Acts of Love" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

January 2, 2022  "Jesus Draws a Crowd" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 2021


December 19, 2021 "Advent Anticipation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

December 5, 2021 "Advent 2: Wilderness Preparation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 2021


November 14, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 2: Resurrection" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

November 7, 2021 "How It All Ends, Part 1: Return" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 2021


October 31, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 5: Steward God's Gifts" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 24, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 4: Nurture Relationships" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 17, 2021 "SSPC Values Part 3: Share Hospitality by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 10, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 2: Show Compassion" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

October 3, 2021  "SSPC Values Part 1: Glorify God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 2021


September 19, 2021  "Gentle Wisdom, or Worldly Ways?" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 12, 2021  "Prophetic Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

September 5, 2021  "A Vision of Our Future" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

August 2021


August 15, 2021  "Wise Living" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

July 2021


July 4, 2021  "Humility Over Hubris" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

June 2021


June 27, 2021  "Faith Over Fear" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2021


May 30, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 3: :Life and Peace" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 23, 2021  "The Spirit, Part 2: The Life of Hope" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 16, 2021  "The Spirit, Part I: Wisdom and Revelation" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 9, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 4: Love and Christ" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

May 2, 2021  "Love Actually, Part 3: Love and God" by the Rev. Don Wahlig

 

 

Click here for previous sermons

 

 

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